• Inkslingers Ball

  • Forensic Handwriting Series, Book 5
  • By: Sheila Lowe
  • Narrated by: Richard J. Brewer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Explosive drama erupts when the life of a teen with a tortured past is jeopardized by her secret tattoo. Handwriting expert Claudia Rose joins forces once again with Detective Joel Jovanic, who is investigating a firebombing, a young woman found dead in a dumpster, and the disappearance of a journalist. The investigation heats up when Jovanic uncovers evidence that the same tattoo is linked to his cases.  

©2014 Sheila Lowe (P)2022 Sheila Lowe

Critic Reviews

“Lowe expertly delivers a solid criminal investigation while guiding her readers into a unique culture where tattooing and the murder of a young girl come together on the autopsy table. Hit the lights and siren because this is one fast ride from beginning to end.” (Lee Lofland, author of Police Procedure and Investigation and founder and director of the Writers’ Police Academy)

Inkslingers Ball is the perfect novel for an afternoon by the pool. With vivid characters, smooth writing, and a twisty plot, Sheila Lowe has crafted a mystery that will keep you guessing to the very end.” (Boyd Morrison, international best-selling author)

What listeners say about Inkslingers Ball

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Annabell's wrath

Annabelle is a magnet for trouble. She knows right from wrong and has positive role models around her and seems to take advantage of her situation at every turn. At least in the end when it was too late and damage had been done she did the right thing. Joel is just too good to be real. He keeps on giving and giving. I hope it's worth it. I voluntarily listened to a free copy of this and am giving an honest review. I liked the male narrator, but this female narrator sounded too old/mature for this story and her male counterpart.

1 person found this helpful

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Twists and turns!

Well-written. held my attention throughout!

Donna Allen and Richard Brewer did a great job bringing the characters to life.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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Dark,intriguing mystery

This intriguing mystery is set in the world of tattoo artists. Claudia Rose, her boyfriend detective Joel Jovanic, and teenager Annabelle are somehow all involved in different aspects of the case concerning a Sugar Skull tattoo,

Once again Sheila Lowe bring us a great story in a really different setting. I loved the two narrators. They brought the characters to life. I liked learning more about Joel's work and Annabelle's backstory. I look forward to listening to the next book in this wonderful series.

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

1 person found this helpful

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Jumped in to this series on book 5. Was pretty happy!

Okay so I didn’t realize that I jumped into this series on book 5 but I’m not mad at all. The way it was written let me feel as if it was a stand alone. The story was a bit slow to start with but once it did it was good. Will definitely be trying to pick up the rest of the series.
I very much liked the Narraters in this story. I am the person that likes when there’s a female and male narraters. It really givers something to the story so I really enjoyed their performance.
I give the narraters a 5 out of 5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
The story a 3 out of 5 🌟🌟🌟. The audio book over all got a 4out of 5 🌟🌟🌟🌟.
I was happy with this audio!

1 person found this helpful

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This book kept me on the edge of my seat!

Suspenseful and unpredictable! Filled with suspense, unexpected twists and plenty of handwriting analysis to feed my curiosity all the way through! This book grabbed my attention at chapter one, and didn’t let go until the very last word. This author never disappoints me with her attention to detail, her knowledge and expertise. I felt as though I was standing next to the characters.

This storyline is fast paced and very believable! The narration was excellent! I loved how the performance switched from female to male, giving clarity and depth that accentuated the story from the perspective of both Claudia Rose and Joel Jovanic.

I highly recommend this book!

1 person found this helpful

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great seeing familiar characters continued

Enjoyed it from start to finish. Sheila writes very well structurally and grammatically. Always interesting twists included with current themes. Great for long trips by car or plane.

1 person found this helpful

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  • DS
  • 08-19-19

A good mystery - Fun listen

It was a fun listen - a good mystery for most part. Main characters were well developed, I had no information about what goes into handwriting analysis so bits and pieces shared were quite interesting. Story developed well for most part.

However I felt end was slightly rushed - and I couldn't fully understand Annabelle's behaviour - especially as she wasn't so close to Angel (may be expanded back story of her and Angel's past would have explained it better). Crash's character could have been expanded a bit, Monica's character suddenly lost its importance. Also felt that Joel and Claudia's interaction in last few chapters was not per their character - for either of them - both have been really stable and calm characters and it felt a bit strange though I can somewhat understand the reasons.

Both the narrators were good, I especially liked Mr. Brewer's voice. Ms. Allen did a great job with voicing multiple characters.

All in all a good read. Would love to read / listen more of Ms. Lowe's work as well as Ms. Allen and Mr. Brewer's narration.

** Disclaimer: I got the free copy from the author for an honest review **

1 person found this helpful

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Great Book

I loved this book. Just the right amount of seedy, criminal underworld mixed with naive, adolescence and the same badass Claudia Rose we're used to, and you've got Inkslingers Ball. Like the others in the series I've read, the premise of hand writing analysis has kept me enthralled since the beginning. I love how the author has intertwined the stories of Claudia and her man to show several sides of the same murder case, while at the same time building the relationship of two characters who have perfect chemistry. On to the next one!

I received this audiobook from the narrator/author/publisher in exchange for an honest review via Audiobook Boom. Special thanks Sheila for another amazing listen!

1 person found this helpful

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Another Great Book From Lowe

First, let me say, I received this book free of charge from the author, narrator or publisher, however, this has no bearing on my comments, as these are my own feelings and thoughts.


This is the 3rd book that I have had the pleasure of listening to by this author and I absolutely love them. Each is different in their own way, but that is what makes them so good!

The Inkslingers Ball, is fantastically done, as Claudia (main character) is guardian of Annabelle, while Annabelle's father is away on business. Annabelle is a troubled teen, who was doing much better until she starts hanging with the wrong crowd. Well this "wrong crowd" of young ladies, end up getting sugar skull tattoos, so Annabelle wants one too, so she will fit in. As people with this sugar skull tattoo start dying off, including her friend, Claudia's boyfriend, Joel Jovanic, becomes the led detective to find out more about these murders and put a stop to them, before it is too late.

1 person found this helpful

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A good read on a winter day!

Not only did I learn some more about handwriting analysis, I learned a lot about the world of tattooing. I especially liked the male narrator. I'm not a huge fan of the Annabelle character and wished she had a little less story time. Otherwise a fun read.

1 person found this helpful

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  • medy
  • 01-10-19

Book 5

It is one of those books that I did not want to end. The interesting story carried me along and made me keep listening. This Shelia Lowe's series about Claudia Rose, who is a forensic handwriting expert.

2 people found this helpful

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  • caroline wright
  • 05-07-22

Didnt want this to end

Just loving this series, am learning so much not only about forensic accounting but on this one about tattoos (not going to get one but it was a great plot device). How is Annabelle only 15 going on 16 with all her life experiences. It is really interesting watching all the relationships develop and grow.

I was given a free copy by the author but the review is entirely my own.

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  • Calowaren
  • 05-05-22

Cool thriller

Some very tense moments in this book especially surrounding Annabelle. I find her very believable despite some of the scrapes she gets into and her rash moves. As the father of 6 daughters, now thankfully all adults, I can relate to both her and those who care about her and the anguish she causes them.
There's a good pace to the story and more interaction between Claudia and Joel as their relationship develops although not always smoothly.

I like the use of two narrators here which works well and both play their part nicely. My only minor niggle was Donna, the female narrator who at times sounds like she's gasping loudly on the inhale. I only really noticed during the Inslinger's Ball event but from then on I found it quite distracting no matter how much I tried to ignore it. I wonder if she caught a cold or something while recording.

Still, an entertaining and enjoyable listen and I'm already looking forward to the next book, Outside The Lines.

I was given a free copy of this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this unbiased review.

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  • mangankillarney
  • 06-04-21

Great

I enjoyed listening to the dual narration of Richard Brewer and Donna Allen

Wow the twists and turns. A great fast paced plot.
I loved the story, competition between the tattoo world. The mystery and handwriting expert Claudia Rose and Detective Joel , working together to solve a murder.
Brilliant

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  • Ghislaine
  • 01-12-21

Interesting read about tattoo artists

This is another fast paced and very readable book with a handwriting expert as the central sleuth, this time set in the murky world of inkslingers, or tattoo artists. I didn't see the ending coming as it was cleverly constructed. An interesting read and one that gave me a chance to learn about tattoos as well as enjoy the story.

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  • Jacky
  • 12-06-20

A brilliant murder mystery book first class author

Wow loved this book absolutely brilliant a wonderful listen love Annabel she is great. Brilliant narration as always

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  • Miss B
  • 04-21-20

Great story!

The story centres around Annabelle, a troubled teen with a fondness for questionable decisions who lives with Claudia, her surrogate aunt. When an old friend of hers gets murdered, she finds herself stuck in the middle of a murder case being investigated by Claudia’s boyfriend, Joel.
There were times when I wanted to shake Annabelle, but her heart was in the right place, and the household dynamic between her, Claudia, and Joel was well-written. The mystery element kept me interested, and there were also fascinating snippets about handwriting analysis sprinkled throughout.
Overall, I thought this was a good suspense novel with a nice twist at the end, and I’d recommend it.

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  • PATRICIA
  • 03-03-19

Inkslingers Ball

If you are looking for a mystery that will suck you in and keep you listening, this is the book for you. This story, from the very start had me. I love Claudia and Joel and their ability to figure things out. But what really intrigued me with this was the back story of the tattoo artists, their competitiveness and their signatures in each of their tattoos. The story revolves around the young girl, Annabelle, that is living with Claudia. She finds herself involved with some questionable people from her past, gets a tattoo, and when her friend is found murdered, we get to go through the case to find out how this and other murders are all connected. The art of graphologist, Claudia is amazing to me, how much can be figured out in the personality of a person by the loops and spaces in a person's handwriting and how it all can help lead to the killer. The relationship with Joel and Claudia has some bumps in it this time and I really commend Claudia for her loyalty to Annabelle. It's a great listen, has a lot of twist and turns, and it's action packed!

The narration by Donna Allen and Richard Brewer is spot on! It's full of intrigue and emotion as we get into the story. They each have a way of giving the characters the necessary feelings in their personalities and bring the story to life with their performance.

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  • Jan M
  • 02-12-19

Sugar Skull Tattoo ...

I absolutely loved this book! Sheila Lowe wrote some incredible twists in this book. I had never really thought about sugar skull tattoo's before, nor had I thought much about tattoo artists all having their own signature style designs or work like an actual signature. The descriptions and imagery in the story made it so easy to visualize the details. The relationship between Claudia and Joel was so realistic too. I liked their banter, and how the author injected humor into the story as well. The idea that Claudia could read so much about a person from seeing their signature was fascinating. Without giving away spoilers, I loved the twist at the end. Kudos to the author for that! Donna Allen and Richard Brewer both did a fabulous performance with this book. They brought the characters to life with their voices and the emotions. I love it when I can hear exactly who is speaking, and both were wonderful. This book is a standalone listen and part of the forensic handwriting series. I will definitely listen to more books by this author and narrators.

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  • Mac
  • 01-03-19

Fabulous

This was awesome, I loved it brilliant storyline and great characters. I highly recommend this audiobook wish I’d have started with the first in this series. The narrators were spot on really great. Can not wait to listen to more.